Monday, 5 October 2009

Forensic Cop Journal 1(3) 2009: Forensically Sound Write Protect on Ubuntu

Actually this journal is derived from my previous post concerning forensically write protect on Ubuntu which has been experimented successfully before. After considering this topic is so significant, so I take it to be an official journal. For this journal, I just put Introduction and Experiments Preparation for this post; therfore for full version of pdf of this journal, it can be downloaded at

The first principle according to ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) in the UK is “No action taken by law enforcement agencies or their agents should change data held on a computer or storage media which may subsequently be relied upon in court” (ACPO, p4). This principle which is applied and used by forensic investigators in the world requires the investigators to pay more attention when dealing with data stored in computer storage media. Once it is changed, the next phases of examination will be considered weak and doubt, even the results of examination could be rejected by court. However the changes are still allowed when the investigators can know exactly their actions and its implications such as when performing live imaging.

In order to accommodate this principle, the investigators apply write protect during their examination process, particularly when making forensic imaging at the first time. This write protect can be in the form of either software or hardware. In Ms Windows OS, there are many forensically sound write protect tools offered to users. Most of them are commercial. Write protect is also available on Ubuntu, but this is for free. We just make a little modification on fstab file to configure Ubuntu machine becomes forensically sound write protect. This journal discusses about it including the experiments performed and the results obtained.

Experiments Preparation

The 4GB flash disk is used as the object of these experiments. It is set up by using GParted in order to configure the partition, so that it has 4 partitions with different file systems. Below is the specification of each partition with the operating system installed within it by using Unetbootin.

Partition 1: size=996.19 MB and file system of ntfs.
Partition 2: size=996.22 MB and file system of fat16 with BartPE as operating system.
Partition 3: size=996.19 MB and file system of ext2 with Helix 3.0 as operating system.
Partition 4: size=847.15 MB and file system of ext3 with Ubuntu 8.10 as operating system.

Particularly for partition 1, there is no OS installed in it because it is designed for storing files. This configuration is intended to make a condition of flash disk becomes closely similar with a real hard disk having some partitions with different file systems.

No comments:

Post a Comment